Unseen CO-OP is back for its second edition. Introduced to increase the representation of artist-run initiatives and collectives worldwide, CO-OP encourages artists to present challenging works of art, dynamic presentations and new commercial formats. In the coming months, we’ll be speaking to each of the participating collectives to find out more about the collaborative processes that drive their practice forward.
(Musicfor)Eggplant confront the typical notions of authorship by presenting a remastered archive of the collective’s history. With improvisation, absurd sounds and musical density being at the core of their collaborations, their work combines video, installations with fabrics, interaction, live stream images and audio. We caught up with member Emile Barret to find out more.
What inspired you to start working as a collective?
01100100 01100101 00100000 01110010 01101001 01100101 01101110 : Breaking the authorship. *: Collecting Combos to be more powerful: Transferring the private room in the public space. } : Maximalism & Pop-Deconstructivism. @: Self-psychanalysis in vorticist situations. 666 : Opening Music. # : Open to Babies. 888 : As various as the members’ shifting moods.
*****Rule One: Breaking the Egg
**********Rule Three: Each Egg Can Be A Whole Plant
***************Rule Two: Thou Shall Always Be Recording The Sound And/Or The Image
How has working as a collective changed the way you interact with the art market?
Making ourselves into a collective came from the common idea to go beyond a material art market. Most of us were studying in the same art school (ECAL in Lausanne) and we were looking for something new, something different and take distance from the academic approach by experimenting with the unknown and starting our own discipline. This was a call for freedom. Everyone in the collective has his own point of view about the art market and we are not dogmatic on those issues. Our will is to be glitches in the system by what we do and this also goes for how we market ourselves and how people consume us. The art market is just another factor on which we can play.
What sets you apart from other collectives?
First and foremost we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We seriously work on what pleases us and having fun is an important part of it. Our aim was to create an electronic experimental band inspired by DADA and the futurist noise movement which turned out being much more than that. While working together, we have expanded our work to graphic design, photography, installations, video, performances, drawings and so on... Our goal is to create total art with an ambulant circus approach. We would like to think that our strength comes from our flexibility to adapt to many situations and for each member of our collective to be independent. We have founders, but we don’t have leaders. All our voices are equal. This has always worked for us and still does. Any person from the collective can represent the collective on their own or with other persons if they present their idea to the rest of the group to be discussed. We have a natural trust between us. Second, we are freaky, we like awkward, bizarre & chaos, we do long duration performances, we can sleep in the galleries, we know how to cook eggplants and how to cook the public, we often askthem to play with us, we do open-mic-session, we create a vortex based on the space that invitesus, histories, gestures, or even scripts, having the goal to produce a mind-loosing time-space.
What do you have in store for us at Unseen Amsterdam 2018?
Our main products: Eggchains, Eggpens, Eggbags! The EggHistory since 2014 on Polaroïds, some huge printed Flags, also printed leggings, clothes and even a bed set! Audio tapes, like the Eggspiracy Tapes, Feel the Pill, les Barons de Liège, sometimes unique, sometimes in small series. And a lot of videos, that will be projected, or you could buy on some USB sticks. We will do a concert on Friday evening in the space, plus we’ll organise a Tombola every half day for you to win some artworks, music recordings and extra gifts! We really hope to meet to there!
Image: Choose your player, 2018 © (Musicfor)Eggplant